One of the most convenient features of the Conrad Tokyo is the attached Shiodome monorail station connecting the hotel with Odaiba island and the Ginza district (via Shimbashi station). Fares are ~3 USD each way and trains run every 8 minutes. Do note that these train rides are not included as part of the Tokyo subway pass.
Odaiba is one of the most popular weekend destinations for Tokyo residents with its rather large shopping mall and boardwalks spanning the shores of the Tokyo Bay. It’s actually an artificial island built for defensive purposes, but since has been transformed into a leisure area for Tokyo residents to enjoy some shopping and views.
The area has terrific views of the Tokyo skyline and the Rainbow Bridge, which spans the Tokyo Bay. It just so happens that the area faces west, making it an ideal spot for viewing a Tokyo sunset. We took a train to Odaiba as soon as we got checked in at the Conrad and the views on the train there were just absolutely fantastic.
As soon as we hopped off at Daiba station, I just sprinted toward the shore to take some pictures of the Tokyo Bay during sunset. The rocks which are located down the stairs from the Odaiba mall are ideal for just relaxing and enjoying Tokyo during golden hour. We were lucky to have clear weather on both days we were there (Tokyo can often be shrouded in smog) and saw some spectacular scenes.
The area is also noted for having one of the few replicas of the Statue of Liberty and one of two in Japan. It certainly isn’t as large as the one on Ellis Island, but it still makes for a selfie spot or photo hotspot in my case.
For dinner that evening, we headed back to Andhra Dining in Ginza (where we were pretty much regulars), and then headed to Shibuya junction. It was my parents’ first time seeing the junction so it was amusing seeing their reaction to the hordes of people walking through this intersection. I attempted to get some long exposure shots using my camera. Results were a bit varied and proved that I couldn’t stand still for even a second 🙂
Anyway that pretty much capped my time exploring Tokyo. The next day we went out on a real adventure: driving through Tokyo to get to Mt. Fuji. I have no clue how we did it, but more on that in my next post.
IMHO: While there is no city like Tokyo, I don’t find it to be the most photogenic city in terms of skyline. Odaiba is the best location I could find in the city for golden hour or seeing some resemblance of a skyline on the water. As a photographer, I very much prefer New York or Hong Kong for their expansive cityscapes and iconic architecture. However, there is a certain “feel” that Tokyo has, as you walk its streets, that makes it one of the best experiences anyone can have. There is no simple word to describe the sheer vibrance the city possesses and the Japanese culture, which pervades every aspect of it. For this reason I would count walking on the streets of Tokyo, as one of my favorite travel experiences to date. Capturing those intimate scenes and moments in the rain, really transformed me as a photographer and made me better appreciate the city.
Japan Trip Report Index:
Exploring Tokyo: Where to go for Sunset